Adam Mickiewicz

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Adam Mickiewicz

Adam Bernard Mickiewicz (24 December 179826 November 1855) was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator and political activist of Belarusian descent. He is regarded as national poet in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. A principal figure in Polish Romanticism, he is one of Poland's "Three Bards" (Trzej Wieszcze) and is widely regarded as Poland's greatest poet. He is also considered one of the greatest Slavic and European poets and has been dubbed a "Slavic bard". A leading Romantic dramatist, he has been compared in Poland and Europe to Byron and Goethe.

Quotes[edit]

Dziady (Forefathers' Eve) [1][edit]

  • Ty Boże, ty naturo! dajcie posłuchanie.
    Godna to was muzyka i godne śpiewanie.
    Ja mistrz!
    Ja mistrz wyciągam dłonie!
    Wyciągam aż w niebiosa i kładę me dłonie
    Na gwiazdach jak na szklannych harmoniki kręgach.
    • Translation: Listen to me, God, and you, Nature!
      Here is music that is worthy of you, songs that are worthy of you.
      I am master!
      Master, I stretch out my hands!
      I stretch them to the sky, I place my fingers on the stars.
      They are my musical glasses, my armonica.
      • Part three, scene two ("The Great Improvisation"). Translated by Louise Varese.
  • Kiedy spojrzę w kometę z całą mocą duszy,
    Dopóki na nią patrzę, z miejsca się nie ruszy.
    • Translation: If I gaze at a comet with all the strength of my soul,
      It cannot stir from the spot while my eyes are upon it.
      • Part three, scene two ("The Great Improvisation"). Translated by Louise Varese.
  • Ja i ojczyzna to jedno.
    Nazywam się Miljion — bo za milijony
    Kocham i cierpię katusze.
    • Translation: My fatherland and I are one great whole.
      My name is million, for I love as millions;
      Their pain and suffering I feel [...]
      • Part three, scene two. Translation from: Polish Romantic Drama: Three Plays in English Translation, translated by various hands, edited by George Rapall Noyes, with revisions by Harold B. Segel, Cornell University Press, 1977 (page 108).
  • Tyran wstał — Herod! — Panie, cała Polska młoda
    Wydana w ręce Heroda.
    Co widzę — długie, białe, dróg krzyżowych biegi,
    Drogi długie — nie dojrzeć — przez puszcze, przez śniegi
    Wszystkie na północ! tam, tam w kraj daleki,
    Płyną jak rzeki.
    • Translation: A tyrant has arisen, Herod! Lord, the youth of Poland
      Is all delivered into Herod's hands.
      What do I see? Long snowy ways, with many crossroads,
      White roads that stretch through wastes too distant to descry!
      All running to the north, that far, far country,
      As rivers flow; [...]
    • Part three, scene five. Translation from: Polish Romantic Drama: Three Plays in English Translation, translated by various hands, edited by George Rapall Noyes, with revisions by Harold B. Segel, Cornell University Press, 1977 (page 124).
  • Będę o to Pana Boga pytać,
    On to wszystko zapisał, wszystko mnie opowie.
    • Translation: We'd better send
      For God. He will remember and tell us all.
      • Part three, scene seven ("The Prisoner's Return"). Translated by Jerzy Peterkiewicz and Burns Singer.

Crimean Sonnets[edit]

  • Monsters merge and welter through the water's mounting
    Din. All hands, stand fast! A sailor sprints aloft,
    Hangs, swelling spider-like, among invisible nets,
    Surveys his slowly undulating snares, and waits.
    • "Żegluga" ("The Crossing"), translated by Richard A. Gregg.
  • In spring's own country, where the gardens blow,
    You faded, tender rose! For hours now past,
    Like butterflies departing, on you're cast
    The worms of memories to work you woe.
    • "Grób Potockiej" ("The Grave of the Countess Potocki"), translated by George Rapall Noyes.

Pan Tadeusz (Sir Thaddeus) [2][edit]

Main article: Pan Tadeusz
  • Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! ty jesteś jak zdrowie;
    Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie, Kto cię stracił...
    • Translation: Lithuania, my country! You are as good health;
      How much one should prize you, he only can tell, Who has lost you...
  • Sound as a burrow'd marmot he slept
    On the straw where he'd tumbled fully-dressed that night.
    • Book Four: Tadeusz' Awakening (trans. Christopher Adam Zakrzewski).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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